Atlantic General Hospital announced today that through the Blood Bank of Delmarva, AGH is participating in a Mayo Clinic study to provide convalescent plasma to treat patients with COVID-19.
Hospital officials say the goal is to use the antibodies in the plasma of now healthy coronavirus survivors to help the patients fight the virus.
“Researchers are optimistic about the potential of this treatment for COVID-19,” said Matt Morris, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Atlantic General Hospital.
Morris said while the treatment may not be for everyone, the hospital enrolled and transfused their first patient Friday, April 24. He noted that the hospital’s medical staff will actively screen future patients with COVID-19 to evaluate the benefits of this treatment for their care.
“Initial anecdotal reports have been positive across the country,” said Morris. “We believe our participation will improve the care we provide to our patients.”
The Blood Bank of Delmarva is now accepting plasma donations from those who have recovered from coronavirus and are now asymptomatic.
Morris said plasma donors must have tested positive for coronavirus and been symptom-free for 28 days. He said those who have been symptom-free for 14 days can also donate if they test negative to ensure they no longer have the active virus.
Patients requesting information on becoming a COVID convalescent plasma donor are asked to contact the Blood Bank of Delmarva directly at http://delmarvablood.org/cpdonor or call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 (1-888-825-6638).
Additional information on who potentially would qualify as a donor can be found at https://www.delmarvablood.org/give-blood/covid-19-and-blood-donation/convalescent-plasma-covid-19-donor-request-form/.
“It’s definitely another resource in our effort to treat patients that are critically ill, and we really hope that it improves the outcomes of these patients,” Morris said. “It is affordable, easy to administer and rarely has side effects. The possibilities presented by this treatment are encouraging.”
While hospital official say they are cautiously optimistic about the treatment, Morris stated, “it is very reasonable to be optimistic about this because of the positive results in studies that convalescent plasma has had in prior outbreaks with other respiratory tract infections and its track record with other diseases.”
More information about convalescent plasma can be found at https://www.uscovidplasma.org/.